Return to Home Page Second Wisconsin
La Crosse had a training camp which was called Camp Salomon in honor of Gov. Salomon (Gov. Harvey had drowned while visiting Shiloh). Camp Salomon became the training grounds for the 25th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment, under the command of Col. Milton Montgomery of Sparta. The 25th comprised Companies from western Wisconsin, up and down the Mississippi River. A review of the La Crosse Weekly Democrat reveals this information:
La Crosse Weekly Democrat, Friday Evening, August 15, 1862
"Camping Ground - Major Rusk and Quartermaster of the 25th Regiment have
located the grounds for that Regiment two miles south of this city near
the bank of the river. It is a healthy site and ample ground of the
desired nature found for the location of camp, drilling exercises, etc.
Preparations for building suitable tenements are rapidly going forward."
On September 8, 1862, the La Crosse Weekly Democrat included this note:
"The camp is well-liked by all. No better or prettier place can be found
for such a purpose. The men are anxious to become perfect in drill and
express a strong determination to become the best drilled which has left
or shall leave the State. The tents are good, water proof, and it looks
like 'living' to see the men so cheerful and full of life. Hurrah for the 25th."
In the same column, "The hospital stores have arrived at camp - the
hospital building is completed but yet empty."
The 25th was mustered into Federal service in September, 1862, and its first
duty was in Minnesota keeping the peace and defending small villages in the
midst of the Sioux Uprising. Following a more than 200 mile march back to
Winona, MN, in December, 1862, and then via railroad to Camp Randall, the
Regiment was sent south to the War of the Rebellion in early 1863. The 25th
participated in many major battles including Resaca, Kennesaw Mountain,
Decatur and Atlanta. Col. Montgomery lost his right arm due to wounds.
However, most of this Regiment's losses were due to disease -- 376 men of the
25th died of disease out of this typical 1000-man or so regiment! The 25th
participated in the Grand Review of the Armies in 1865 before mustering out.
Note that Major Jeremiah Rusk went on to become Lt. Colonel, later the
Governor of Wisconsin and eventually the United State's first effective
Secretary of Agriculture. "Uncle Jerry," as he was called, was from Viroqua
and is buried there.
Information courtesy Frederick Beseler, Pvt., Co. B (The La Crosse Light
Guards), 2nd Wisconsin Civil War Reenactors.